Hutchinson, located in southwestern Minnesota, is a cozy, hometown community that nestles along the South Fork of the Crow River. Hutchinson is 9.02 square miles and is the largest city in McLeod County. The 2021 census reported 13,935 residents living in Hutchinson. In its business and occupational endeavors, the city embodies the motto "City on Purpose" with intentional, purposeful programs and work effort. Workforce opportunities for residents are densely populated in health care and social assistance systems, manufacturing, and retail trade.
Hutchinson is experiencing a shortage of available child care. In August 2022, First Children’s Finance conducted a child care need assessment that showed an approximate shortage of 414 child care slots. Child care shortages make it difficult for employers to operate at full staffing capacities because families must either cut back on the hours they work or opt out of the workforce altogether to care for their children. Other families find challenges by having to rely solely on one income, or by having to travel long distances to find child care in other communities. To support workforce development, retention, and economic growth, Hutchinson is participating in the Rural Child Care Innovation Program to explore and implement local and right-sized solutions to address the child care need being experienced in the city.